Another impressive night on the field for Louisville City turns into a less than ideal result in our final preseason game.
In the last match of the season, Lou City kept the majority of possession and had quite a few good looks on goal. Richard Ballard drew a penalty in the 52nd minute, which was converted by Cameron Lancaster as he sent ex-MLS goalkeeper Jon Busch the wrong way. Our backline held strong for almost the entire game when in the last moments of the game, Nemanja Vukovic scored a screamer from the top of the box.
Though the boys will be disappointed with the draw, they did look the better team for the majority of the match. Richard Ballard was my Man of the Match for not only drawing the penalty but being the largest attacking presence for the entire game. His speed and vision on the ball did not look like someone who had just signed their first professional contract. Even being paired with two USL veterans, Brian Ownby and George Davis IV, Ballard did not look out of place at all.
With 9 of the starting 11 players playing the full 90, another player worth mentioning is Oscar Jimenez. The 27-year-old has played midfielder for the entirety of his career but has started the last two preseason games at left back. He is quick on the ball and can get forward when needed. Yet, being only 5 foot 8, I do have some concerns as he was pushed off the ball a few times by the much larger Indy Eleven players.
As most of us know, Sean Reynolds and Paco Craig will both miss some games to start the season. So I was happy to see Sean Totsch start and play the full 90 in Evansville. He and Tarek paired up nicely and kept both Justin Braun and Eamon Zayed quiet for the entire game. The linesman had a pretty busy night as Totsch and Morad played a great offside trap against the NASL runners-up.
Probably the biggest surprise in the lineup was the lack of Guy Abend. With Devon “Speedy” Williams and Paolo DelPiccolo in the midfield, we saw a slightly more attacking minded central midfield. Speedy distributed the ball nicely all afternoon, and Paolo looked sharp as well as he intercepted Indy quite often.
As the preseason comes to a close, I believe that the lineup we saw against Indy will likely be our lineup against St. Louis on opening day. If that is the case, I think we can be confident in our defense, with just one goal given up in each our three preseason games. Yet with only one goal in the last two games, I am a bit concerned with our goalscoring capabilities.